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November 2010

Page history last edited by Donald Achim 9 years, 4 months ago


Elder Teckies Help Newsletter


Senior Computer Users of Greater Kansas City

Compiled and Edited by Don Achim  


A Not for Profit Organization - Helping Senior Citizens Develop Computer Skills in the 21st Century







APRIL 2011





These easy to use tutorials can help you sharpen your computer skills and make you more productive!




Facebook Tutorial  


Publisher Tutorial        


Powerpoint Tutorial


Quicken Tutorial


Yahoo Mail Tutorial


2003 Microsoft Tutorials


Windows Live Mail Tutorial


BBC Online Computer Training



Windows 7 Help. . .
If you are new to Windows 7, please look over these compiled notes from several authors and Microsoft. To learn more....click here


Free AntiVirus Program


Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download from Microsoft that helps to keep your PC protected against malware and virus threats. It's simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology.



Cloudmark DesktopOne 1.0.1040


Cloudmark DesktopOne is a free Anti-Spam Solution to protect your inbox from spam, phishing and viruses. It features a quick, easy, and automatic setup.



This freeware software program is brought to you by MajorGeeks.com: The Original Spyware-Free Download Site, in partnership with Infopackets.com. Disclaimer: the above software description is provided by the software vendor and is not guaranteed or implied to be accurate. Always backup your PC before downloading and installing any software to your system. You are encouraged to review MajorGeeks.com software policy for further detail.


This tool checks your computer for infection by specific, prevalent malicious software (including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom) and helps to remove the infection if it is found. Microsoft releases an updated version of this tool on the second Tuesday of each month, also known as Patch Tuesday.



  Switching to Windows 7 (CLICK)







Computer Clean UP (From PC Magazine)


Every so often it's important to perform thorough PC cleaning and maintenance. Fortunately there are a few simple steps you can take and utilities you can use to make your computer run faster.

Is your computer filling up with old files or slowing down, cluttered with applications? Just like your house, it likely needs a good spring-cleaning. Fortunately there are a few simple steps you can take and utilities you can use to clean up the debris that may be cluttering up your machine. Here's part 1 of our guide. Part 2—on physically cleaning your PC and peripherals—arrives tomorrow.

First you should decide how thorough you want to be. Like your basement, your PC can potentially benefit from hours of cleaning, but you probably have other things to do with your time. So if your hard drive is filled to bursting, spend some time backing up and clearing off your data files. Otherwise, though, honestly, your time is better spent on other chores.

There are two exceptions to this rule: your desktop and your Start menu. If you've been letting your desktop fill up, take just 10 minutes to file away or delete the clutter. If you're using Windows XP and need to ease navigation in the Start menu, open the menu in Windows Explorer (C:\Documents and Settings\username\Start Menu\Programs) and spend a couple of minutes filing. Since Vista users have the convenient Start menu search field, straightening up the Programs menu seems like a waste of time.

One of the simplest steps you can take to help out your machine's performance is to defragment the hard drive—although, alas, test results show that defragging achieves uneven improvement. But with a disk defragmenting utility built right into Windows, there's no reason not to run it. This is as simple as right-clicking on the hard drive icon in Windows Explorer and choosing the Defragment option under Tools. Your computer may need to reboot to complete the work, so give yourself some time to run the utility. Defragmenting reassembles and rearranges files that have become scattered across the drive, ensuring that your computer can get to each file as quickly as possible.

Slightly more complicated but practically guaranteed effective is freeing space on your hard drive. Unused programs and especially services take up space as well as using computer processing time and even slowing your start-up. The first culprits to look for are any applications that start up each time you launch Windows but aren't doing anything you need. Once everyone learned to delete the application shortcuts in the Start menu's Startup folder, app developers got crafty. You can uninstall programs you don't want at all, but to disable start-up programs, you'll want the System Configuration utility. Click Start | Run, and type msconfig. Go to the Startup tab and you can disable the apps you don't want running automatically. You can search online for unfamiliar names; we like the Process Library for this information. And do take a few seconds to research the names; you don't want to disable a critical process.

Next, a trip to the Programs and Features section of the Control Panel in Vista or to the Add and Remove Programs item in Windows XP is well worthwhile. If you're the sort of person who has tried a number of programs, or even if you've just stopped using some of your older software, you'll find a gold mine of opportunity for cleaning up your system. Select and uninstall each of the applications you no longer use. In general, if you're asked whether to remove shared files, it is safest to say no. They don't take much room, and if you remove them you risk breaking some other application.

It won't make your machine run any better, but if you hate staring at the runt entries left in the Programs control panel after they don't uninstall correctly, then Microsoft's uninstall cleaner will get rid of them.

If your hard drive is filling up, several utilities can help you remove duplicate or unused files. The first one to try is built right into Windows. Disk Cleanup, accessible from your Programs menu under Accessories | System Tools | Disk Cleanup (or Start | Run… cleanmgr) will delete, among other things, the contents of your Recycle Bin, old downloads, temp files, unneeded system logs, and dump files, as well as helping you remove unused Windows components. Then if your machine has more than one drive and your System drive (usually C:) is filling up, consider moving some of your data files to your other drives. Remember not to move applications themselves. They have to be uninstalled and reinstalled if you want them in a different location.

If you suspect you've wound up with multiple copies of large files like photos, music, or videos, there are utilities that can help you locate and delete duplicates. One nice free one is Fast Duplicate File Finder from MindGems; PCMag utility Dupeless 2 is another good choice, though it's not free. Finally, as long as you're getting your hands dirty, now's a good time to make sure you have a backup system and that it's working. See our article on the best backup tools to get some ideas on how to make sure your system is effectively archived.

Whether you take the time to go through all of these steps or just some of them, the time you spend spring-cleaning your system should more than pay for itself in a better-performing machine for the rest of the year.





                      For advanced users: Working without a tree in Windows 7(CLICK)



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